Personal self-development techniques for personal self-development

Author: Maria Finatova, head of the Consulting Projects Department and partner of the Valentina Mitrofanova group of companies, expert and practicing consultant in the field of labor legislation

Many organizations engage in internal training and development of their staff. In modern conditions and trends set by business, the need for training and development of one’s own personnel is becoming an increasingly relevant and sought-after issue, because this allows not only to have highly qualified specialists, but also contributes to business development, which is an important factor. But not every employer is ready to invest in the development and education of their employees, since this is not cheap, takes a lot of time, effort and requires resources. That's why,

Professional and personal growth

A person cannot “just live” and do his job, he must find a goal in which work and profession, and most importantly, he himself and his actions in the profession occupy a certain place.
If the chosen profession does not contradict the formed personal characteristics and the professional development of the individual corresponds to its basic value concepts, then one can expect a value-based attitude to professional activity in the future.

In other words, in this case the unity of personal development and professional growth of the individual is noted.

Consequently, the problem of choosing a profession and mastering an activity is part of the problem of the meaning of life.

In the scientific literature, the problem of professional compliance is associated with the presence of a certain potential of inclinations or abilities that can ensure the successful formation of the necessary professional knowledge, skills and abilities.

There is practically no talk about the harmonious development of the individual, about professionalization as a process that largely determines this development.

It is assumed that everything will be fine with a person if, according to certain parameters, he meets the requirements imposed by professional activity on the subject.

Personal and professional growth helps us further achieve three main goals, on the basis of which we can continue self-improvement in the future:

1. Harmony according to the current day

Studying new information obtained from various sources (books, attending trainings, various seminars), its systematization and further use, taking into account all the requirements necessary for society, including our immediate environment, as well as achieving new heights in building a career;

2. Formation of awareness

Not only real, but also adequate acceptance of the present, a thorough analysis of one’s own behavior model - all these actions are necessary to obtain the necessary list of possible problems and shortcomings that need to be corrected or completely eradicated so that they do not interfere with professional growth in the future;

3. Comprehensive development

Improvement requires not only achieving better results only in a certain category and nearby ones, but also in completely opposite ones.

Thus, you develop comprehensively, which means you can, based on the acquired knowledge and skills, develop in a completely new direction for you. You must not only be an ace in your field, you must also be able to support small talk on any topic.

We offer the following points for drawing up a program of self-educational activities:

  • My values;
  • My goals;
  • My self-concept;
  • My perspective (strategy);
  • My work tactics and development tasks: cognitive, personal, etc.;
  • My actions.

Download soft skills

A career driver can be not only competence in the desired industry, but also developed “soft skills”. Moreover, without many of them, personal development is impossible in principle. Here are the top skills in our opinion:

  • Empathy is the ability to feel your interlocutor and understand his mood. Such people are also called sensitive. The skill of empathy is useful everywhere, from personal communications to complex negotiations.
  • Critical thinking - This skill can be used to develop both reputation and creativity. If you have sufficiently developed critical thinking, it is quite difficult to mislead you. And such thinking will help creativity based on the principle of cutting off - you immediately see which idea will be useful and which will turn out to be a pointless waste of time.
  • Creativity is a skill that is essential in any profession. It is with the help of a creative approach that you can change the usual algorithm for performing a task and improve it.
  • Strategic thinking - fans of personal growth should pay attention specifically to this skill. With this kind of thinking, managers process larger amounts of data, calculate the situation ahead and make long-term decisions.

Read more about “soft” skills in a special article.

Top 3 secrets of successful people

To achieve success in personal growth, there are special methods, technologies and exercises that allow you to achieve significant changes almost instantly.

For example, in the book by psychologist Nikolai Kozlov, “A Book for Those Who Like to Live or Psychology of Personal Growth,” you can find a diagram that tells you how smart people behave in difficult situations:

Secret No. 1

All you have to do is stop shifting responsibility for the situation onto others - and change your attitude towards it. This is the secret included in all personal growth techniques.

Secret No. 2

Always strive for new knowledge. Seize every opportunity. Regardless of the scope of this knowledge, you can never be sure that one fine day will not come when the skills you accidentally acquired will play an important role in your life.

Secret No. 3.

Share your knowledge with others. For example, with the help of personal growth trainings. Transferring information and discussing it are the best ways to develop. In addition, students can share something new and look at any problem from a different perspective.

Take a MINI or Micro MBA

The head of the department of management training programs at the Russian School of Management, Konstantin Tyutyunov, considers such education optimal for managers who want to become top managers, but are not ready to stop the work process during training.

In a programme:

  • A block about managing others - how a leader differs from a manager, functions, tools and spheres of influence of a leader.
  • Block about self-management - start self-development, create a model for increasing personal effectiveness, behavior management.
  • A block about business communications - how to conduct effective meetings, how to master the competencies of a successful negotiator, how to communicate.

Choose a course that includes practice - then in a short time you will be able to master a large number of skills necessary for a leader and professional manager.
Dmitry Kuzmin Author of the media portal of the Russian School of Management

Directions and types of self-development

Self-development covers many areas and sectors of an individual’s life. But you shouldn’t try to cover them all at once. Remember the saying about two birds with one stone? The same method applies here - you should not strive to become a piano virtuoso, a doctor of technical sciences and a master of sports at the same time. Spending a lot of effort in general, scattering yourself on many things, it is impossible to achieve absolute success in at least one of them. Multitasking is more an enemy of self-improvement than a helper. There are different types of self-development, you just need to choose the right direction for yourself and focus on achieving your goal in your chosen area. So what is self-development like?

Let's take a closer look at these self-development options:


The development of intelligence is not limited to just reading books

In our modern world there are still many ways to get something new, interesting and - most importantly! – useful information. For example, watching documentaries, attending seminars and lectures, and simply communicating with smart people


If you do not plan to win medals and cups at the Olympics, then self-development in this area involves giving up bad habits, switching to proper nutrition, maintaining a sleep schedule and doing physical activity. Firstly, strengthening physical health promotes good health, which in turn is the key to advancement in other areas of self-development. Secondly, thanks to physical self-development, your appearance will change, which will be an excellent reason to increase self-esteem.


Spiritual self-development is a very important and necessary process in a person’s life. Negative emotions and feelings bring nothing but destruction to a person. Apathy and depression are a consequence of internal negativity. You need to learn to love yourself and the world around you, forgive minor shortcomings and shortcomings.

It is very important to learn to think in a positive way, because positivity, on the contrary, has the power to create, charges a person with energy and inspires new victories


Museums, theaters, art galleries, concerts - these are all methods through which cultural self-development is realized. Attending this kind of event will not only bring you benefits in terms of development and mastery of the cultural heritage of generations, but can also simply bring pleasure and become a way of pleasant leisure time.


Types of self-development include not only improving spiritual qualities. After all, in order to improve the level and quality of your life, you also need to develop. Of course, happiness does not lie in material wealth, but this does not mean that you should not strive for better living conditions or to improve your financial status. As the ironic Scots like to say: “You can’t buy happiness. But it’s much more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.”


You shouldn’t linger in a position that you have long outgrown. Feel free to step up the career ladder and improve your skills. If you are categorically dissatisfied with your job, then you should think about exploring new areas of activity or starting your own business. Don't be afraid to change something in your usual way of life. Remember that your success may depend on your determination.

Personal growth

Before you start working on yourself, you need to decide what qualities you would like to develop in yourself. Personal growth as a type of self-development is training willpower, cultivating desired qualities and character traits, strengthening fortitude, and also eradicating negative characteristics of nature.


It is extremely important to create a comfortable and favorable atmosphere around yourself. You need to learn to interact with colleagues, respect the opinions of friends, listen to your loved ones

Developing tolerance for minor shortcomings of society, sociability, and the ability to control your emotions - all this will only be beneficial and will help you achieve harmony with the world around you.

You can choose one type of self-development and work only in this chosen direction. If you feel strong enough to cover several industries, go for it! Just don’t overestimate your capabilities, don’t try to ideally comprehend all types of self-development - it’s simply impossible to do this at the same time. Work in several directions may sometimes not bring results at all, which can negatively affect the emotional state of the individual and lead to internal “burnout.” Also, ineffectiveness can extremely reduce motivation or completely discourage further action.

Personality orientation in the works of C. Rogers

Rogers is considered one of the best psychologists of the last century, he founded the psychology of humanism. His concept is based on the individual’s desire for actualization; he identifies the following concepts:

  1. “Real Self” - includes a person’s awareness of thoughts, values, and attitudes in life.
  2. “Ideal Self” is a set of ideas about how a person sees his future, what he strives for, and his life experience.
  3. “Social environment” - includes values ​​and norms, behavioral characteristics inherent in a person’s social environment.

If there are discrepancies in life between the real and ideal state of a person and his implementation in society, mental disorders, neuroses, anxiety, and poor adaptation in society arise. To be in harmony with your Self and achieve an ideal state, you need to gain freedom, learn to listen to your inner voice, and act based on your experience and understanding of life.

Usually, problems arise in a situation where a person lives according to the rules of society, trying not to stand out from the crowd, forgetting about the “Ideal Self”. Rogers, working as a psychotherapist, believed that his task was to reveal the potential of the individual, to help determine and gain freedom through self-knowledge.

His “theory” found its application in pedagogy.

Key rules in the work of a teacher

  1. pedagogy should contribute to the formation of a healthy and adequate personality, promote personal growth;
  2. the source of development and growth lies in the person himself, only through comprehension and personal experience, responsible choice is it possible to learn and self-improvement of the individual;
  3. personal growth and development is impossible without understanding and accepting one’s essence. Respect for yourself and your inner world allows you to take risks and reveal new facets of your personality.

Basic qualities of a teacher

  • Trusting relationship;
  • Stimulate students' internal motivation;
  • Share experience, provide assistance in difficult situations;
  • Be sensitive to the child’s emotions and feelings;
  • Be active in relationships, express your emotions and experiences;
  • Understand and know yourself.

Of course, teachers are not always able to find time for each student and promote the full disclosure and development of their personality, so this question applies more to parents who must know and understand their child and help him develop

Each person in the process of his life asks questions of finding himself, his purpose, which is important for further development and self-improvement. “Know yourself and you will know the world,” the sages said

What does it take to be born a professional?

To become a professional in your own chosen activity, you will have to put in a lot of effort and work. But besides this, other factors are also decisive.

Internal abilities: predisposition to learning, leadership qualities, sincere desire, continuous aspiration, undying motivation, organization, strong discipline, understanding of the basics of self-realization.

External circumstances: methodological support, equipped workplace, well-coordinated work of the team, competent leadership, availability of information sources.

What does self-development consist of?

As we found out, self-development is an activity that is aimed at satisfying human needs. But in order to better understand what it is, you need to understand what types, directions and methods of self-improvement exist. It can be divided into several areas:

  • Physical development - development of the body, strength, muscles, endurance.
  • Physiological development is an improvement in health, expressed in a beneficial effect on various body systems (cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, reproductive, etc.).
  • Mental development is the development of abilities, competencies, skills, abilities through gaining new experiences and sensations, working with perception, thinking, memory, feelings and imagination.
  • Social development is the development of abilities and skills, skills and qualities that allow one to climb the career ladder, make the transition between social strata, improve interpersonal relationships, increase social status and authority.
  • Spiritual development is knowledge and awareness of oneself, the search for the meaning of life and one’s purpose, taking responsibility for everything that happens to oneself and other people, attempts to understand the nature of the universe and reveal one’s hidden potential, a constant desire for moral and moral self-improvement.
  • Intellectual development - the development of thinking through obtaining new information, developing new skills and qualities, increasing literacy, exploring new directions and areas of knowledge.
  • Professional development - increasing and developing professional skills, qualities and abilities, studying new technologies and areas of work, obtaining additional education.

The need for self-development can be classified as spiritual (or ideal), but it can manifest itself at absolutely any level. It depends on the direction chosen by the person. No less interesting is the fact that, to a certain extent, each of us is engaged in self-development, and often without even thinking about it and without going into the details of what exactly he is doing.

At a subconscious level, a person chooses the direction that evokes a response in his inner world. And in some cases, the direction dictates the need to acquire certain skills to satisfy certain needs. But the most effective (and also time-consuming) is the conscious choice of the path. And movement along it will always (unless, of course, you want to act chaotically and anyhow) occur in certain stages and obey an action plan.

Personal development

  1. Learn a foreign language.
  2. Read 1 book per month or week.
  3. Attend seminars, courses and trainings on self-development.
  4. Find a mentor. All successful people have had a mentor. Warren Buffett learned the art of investing from Benjamin Graham. Bill Gates learned about the laws of wealth from Warren Buffett. Mark Zuckerberg learned to run a company from Steve Jobs.
  5. Learn something new every day. Read a new article, learn a new skill, listen to a new talk.
  6. Find a role model. What kind of person epitomizes who you want to become? I admire Elon Musk, Neil Patel, Brian Dean and Jeff Bezos. I read their books, watch their speeches, study their biography, try to copy their habits and behavior.

Get rid of bad habits

Stop it:

Imagine how many books you can read in this time.

40 pages per hour * 4 hours = 160 pages per day. 160 * 30 = 4800 pages in thirty days. 24 books a month!

How many good changes will happen to you if you read so much? A lot of!

Replace them with good habits

  • By reading;
  • Sports;
  • Studying foreign languages;
  • Taking courses;
  • Intellectual games;
  • Daily planning;
  • Yoga;
  • Meditation;
  • Setting goals.

Self-development and the Wheel of Life Balance

The wheel of life balance is a system of life values. It is necessary to determine the areas of life that currently exist. Usually this:

  • Family;
  • Job;
  • Children;
  • Creation;
  • Rest;
  • Friends;
  • Health;
  • Love.

You need to select 8 items that are of greatest interest, you can include additional ones not from the list. Then divide the drawn circle into sectors corresponding to the spheres. Analyze the items and rate your own satisfaction in each area. The direction or type of self-development that is a priority depends on this. For example, improving the spiritual, material, social sphere, career growth or starting a family.

Family as a life value

The goal of the method is to achieve harmony; this can be done if the wheel starts to roll. All directions should develop evenly. You need to start restoring balance from the area that is lagging behind. It may later turn out that one of the sectors has lost value and will be replaced by another.

Note! Using the life balance wheel will help you determine what is important and what is not important in life. This is a boost for those who don't understand which direction to move when they seem confused

Use a suitable time management system

There are several dozen time management systems - there are simple ones like long-term planning or incoming basket methods from GTD. There are complex ones - with the principles of flexible methodologies for managing time, the team and oneself (Agile, Scrum, Kanban). Use the best:

  • Try several techniques in practice - allocate a small period of time to each system.
  • Track your work results and efficiency in each period - try to understand which system helps you and does not impose unnecessary restrictions.
  • Think about which parts of which system were most effective for you. For example, from Scrum you can take the backlog system - collecting all tasks into one list and setting priorities. And then forget about complex settings and constant analytics of actions, and instead just perform several tasks every day.

The point of time management is not to push you to accomplish things, but to use tools that help you choose the right things to do and the time to complete them.

Take care of yourself physically

Physical capabilities undoubtedly play a very important role in order to feel happy and to experience a better quality of life.

When we feel bad or hurt, we can’t help but be upset about it, feel sorry for ourselves and justify our idleness.

To get rid of this problem, your physical condition must be at such a level that you do not even think about it. You do this by exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.

Without suitable oil, water, fuel and systematic maintenance, a car cannot drive normally. Its parts begin to fail one by one until the car completely falls apart.

The same happens with our body. Take care of your body. Give him the opportunity to act in your interests, and not vice versa.

Psychology of Rubenstein

Self-knowledge and self-development of a person occurs in the process of communication with other people, so a person realizes his characteristics and works on personality characteristics. A person’s character is partly an innate thing associated with the type of nervous system, and partly acquired through life and accumulated experience.

To some extent, the study of character is related to Maslow’s theory, since a characterless person does not have a rigid value system, but a person with a strong character clearly understands his purpose and is confident in his coordinate system, adheres strictly to his line of behavior. The concept of “personality” arises as a result of self-awareness of one’s “I” and one’s actions.


Self-awareness arises as a result of human development, mastering new knowledge, understanding one’s capabilities, and managing physical processes. Independence develops in the process of mastering speech and service skills, and later manifests itself in the ability to set tasks, goals, and find the main direction for the development of one’s personality.

Self-knowledge and self-development of the individual are important components in a person’s life; these processes are clearly visible in adolescence, when many questions arise before the individual. A person determines his purpose in this world, the abilities and capabilities of his “I”. These are the first attempts to understand yourself.

Each person has character traits and personal qualities that distinguish him from others. Understanding oneself leads to the formation of personality, awareness of the need for changes in certain directions, and the establishment of one’s own principles of life.

A personality is a person with his own worldview, a clear position in life, which arose as a result of great conscious activity, understanding of himself and life in general.

Individuality - a bright, unique person

Personality is a more global concept, and its formation requires quite significant efforts, attention to this issue and determination.

Such a person has his own characteristics, a “handwriting”, and consciously distinguishes himself from the general mass of people, which presupposes independent thinking and the presence of willpower. At the same time, the depth of personality is determined by the richness of the inner world and relationships with people.

Self-isolation leads to devastation of a person, although to a certain extent it is necessary for carrying out internal work and understanding one’s essence. A personality feature is the ability to look at the world from the outside for a more complete understanding of processes.

A developed person also helps others in the process of self-development. A real personality cannot cause indifference; there can be friends or enemies. Such a person always has strength and an active beginning. Self-awareness develops along with a person throughout life; self-reinterpretation occurs in connection with new experiences.

Each person goes through the process of understanding life, asks himself questions and finds answers, understanding what is most important for him and brings value. Accumulated experience and understanding of life leads to the formation of wisdom. Personality is created and built by a person throughout his conscious life, each person develops in a special way.

It is very important to carry out self-knowledge and self-development in a temporary period and ask questions: what was I like? - what am I? - what do I want to be? However, it is important to understand that a person needs to develop his existing potential, and in the process of labor and creation of something, the personality grows. There is a great relationship between a person and his result of activity


A person is always of interest if he can create something significant and it is clear that this is not the limit of possibilities. The development of personality over time can be tracked through human activity, in which it manifests itself and constantly develops.

A person’s characteristics are not always at the forefront of actions, but can also be a consequence. And abilities develop as a result of constant practice; the more attention a person directs to a certain area, the higher the likelihood of success in it and achieving high results.

Each person has his own life story, which can be reflected in an autobiography or resume; they will contain data about the person’s training, work, achievements - thus, the relationship of human development through activity can be traced.

In order to become a historical figure, you need to do things, create creations that will be in the public domain and go down in the history of society.

From self-knowledge to professionalism

In fact, personal self-knowledge and professionalism are closely linked. After all, it is possible to realize oneself on the chosen path only with the inclinations for this or that business identified in advance. If a person initially did not have a soul for something, then it is unlikely that he will be attracted to it in the future. Or if he does not have predispositions for the chosen business, then it is useless to expect high achievements from him there.

For example, if a child has been sedentary and inactive since childhood, and was more interested in natural sciences, then he is unlikely to become a great athlete, and vice versa, if the child has good physical development and has no inclinations for deep thought processes, then it is useless to accustom him to this. Yes, the benefits of taking new subjects will give a positive result, but it will probably not exceed the average among his peers.

It’s another matter when a child is passionate about something and has the opportunity to develop in this direction without losing interest. Then, most likely, in the future he will be able not only to enjoy his chosen activity, but also to achieve great success and recognition in a similar field. Over time, any hobby can grow from a simple hobby into something more, for example, a source of income or even an entire art. In any case, if individual abilities are revealed correctly and at the right time, they will soon be sharpened to the point of obvious professionalism.

Effective methods of self-development

Sometimes you really need to look at yourself from the outside. There is nothing complicated about this, just set up a camera and capture your everyday actions on video. In the professional sphere, this will also help to hone your skills and see your own shortcomings.

Quite often, many psychoanalysts call to “let go of your past.” But this is not a completely correct method. Yes, somewhere it is really needed, but it doesn’t get better for those who decide to develop. It is impossible to notice personal changes if there is nothing to compare them with. Therefore, sometimes it is useful to look at your past self in order to see changes for the better and personal growth.

The twenty-first century is oversaturated with information, sometimes our brain simply cannot cope with it, experiencing emotional and mental overload. If you notice such an alarming state in yourself, urgently arrange a rest for yourself! The main thing during relaxation is not to get stuck in gadgets or the Internet, but to completely distract yourself from the unnecessary flow of information. And besides, with a “fresh mind”, much more interesting ideas that are profitable for implementation come up!

If the risk is justified, then it is quite appropriate. As for senseless risks, you should be careful here in order to avoid unnecessary losses and failures in the future. Professional self-development sometimes requires passion and risky actions, the main thing is not to get too carried away with it.

Society and self-development

For self-development, it is so important to invest in yourself rather than in something else. Education, travel, proper nutrition, sports - all this is the key to good health + independent development

When you are faced with many different tasks, it is difficult not to forget everything. Keeping a planner or regular diary will make some of the work easier for you. As for professional self-development, you can’t live without a notebook! After all, who knows when another brilliant idea will come to your mind.

Using the above self-development methods, you are sure to achieve effective results in all your work endeavors!

Goals and ideas

Set the right goals to achieve which you have taken the path of self-development. If necessary, do not be afraid to ask questions of your own “I”. Only in this way will you determine whether you are really moving in the right direction, or whether you are faced with severe self-deception.

Any correctly set goal has guidelines that help in achieving it. Take care of them and you will definitely achieve the desired result!

Without good motivation, the process of self-improvement may well drag on for many years. Find a worthy example for yourself that will serve as a real incentive for you. For example, your boss or senior management would be a great example.

If you move in only one direction, it will be very difficult for you to achieve complete self-realization. In moderation, engage in both the physical development of your body and the improvement of your intellect, gradually increasing your IQ level.

Practical advice

To make it easier to complete the above, use these recommendations.

Keep a diary

First, make a psychological profile of your personality.

Describe your strengths and weaknesses, what you want to change, what you want to achieve.

Then write down impressions, events, interesting discoveries every day.

Write down interesting ideas

Thoughts are quickly forgotten, but they can be very useful.

Write down what you find interesting. After a while, look at the ideas and evaluate them.

Have a dialogue with yourself

Set aside about 20 minutes daily for this activity. Make sure there are no distractions. Relax, don't think about anything extraneous. Ask yourself questions.

What do you really want? What needs to be done to achieve this? What to change in character?

The answer usually does not come immediately, but your questions remain in the subconscious.

Usually, after a few days, ideas begin to appear.

Write them down and analyze them. Such methods will help you better understand yourself and your goals, and then lead to the desired result.

Methods of personality development: biography of great people

Studying the biographies of historical figures and contemporaries helps not only to identify the patterns that led them to success. In many cases, this method gives a charge of motivation, an example of courage and perseverance in any life circumstances. Every person has fear within them at the genetic level.

It is needed in order to protect a person from inevitable death every time. People no longer live in caves, and their lives no longer hang in the balance depending on the decisions of the community. But fears of all kinds - from phobias to social fears - sit deep in every person. All methods of personality development, one way or another, have as their goal overcoming inappropriate fear in a person.

It can be difficult for the modern generation to understand that the habit of heroism can be trained. Samurai, scientists burned for the truth - they all appear before us like shadows of the past. But history has thousands of examples of human heroism. Studying the biographies of both successful people and historical heroes is a powerful method that will allow you to look at life from a slightly different perspective. After all, for the majority, heroism is a gift that is given to a few. Not every artist becomes Raphael, and not every scientist becomes Einstein. Only a few athletes become champions.

But it’s worth studying the biographies of great people in more detail, and it turns out that leadership, intellectual development of the individual, and heroism are the work of ordinary people of flesh and blood. “It was not the gods who fired the pots,” said the ancient Greeks. Consider, for example, the inspiring story of Podolsk cadets - an example of the greatest feat, the result of which was the salvation of the Russian capital from the fascist invaders.

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